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snow blowing driveways and sidewalks

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by Erik1981, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. Erik1981

    Erik1981 Member
    from MN
    Messages: 55

    This will be my first year providing snow removal as a service. My area is very unique in that over half of the home are summer homes. I have been approached by several of my lawn service accounts asking about keeping the driveways cleared and a path to the front door so the place looks occupied for security reasons. This will also allow emergency vehicles easy access if needed.
    The average driveway around here is 50'x25' many are larger but that is the typical driveway I would be dealing with.
    I have done a lot of reading on here about pricing and have become quite educated on how to bid plowing but have not found any helpful info about blowing.
    In northern MN where I am at we receive about 15 snowfalls of 2" or more.
    Any info that you can provide would be very helpful
     
  2. hansenslawncare

    hansenslawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 303

    How far north into MN are you? City? Reason I ask is because every market has differences. What is the income levels within this community? What is the average market rate for snow plowing a driveway?
     
  3. Erik1981

    Erik1981 Member
    from MN
    Messages: 55

    I am about 1 hour straight east of Fargo, ND in Detroit Lakes, MN. Income levels are vary greatly here but most of my properties are Lake properties with values of $300k - a few million. Many of these are just vacation homes for people from all over the country. The people I am trying to market this particular service to have relatively high incomes ($200k+). For the average driveway (mentioned in the original post) plowing would be between $20-$30 per event... how does this translate into snowblowing rates? Keep in mind that most people will also want their front walk blown out to their front door which likely involves some shoveling.

    Thanks for the advice
     
  4. hansenslawncare

    hansenslawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 303

    Here's my experience about snow blowing in my area. Typically I'll only charge $5 more per visit as opposed to a snow plow on a truck. The real value or game changer is by selling the benefit to the customer. For example, if the standard charge is $25/$30, then the upsell charge for snowblowing would be $30/$35. The benefit of snow blowing is no turf damage, no piles at the end of the driveways obscuring view. Usually a snow blower cleans down to the pavement much cleaner (one stage.)

    If your customers are already sold on this concept, then the upcharge shouldn't be a big problem. But like I previously stated, we only charge $5 additionally for snow blowing instead of plowing...$10 if it's a 5/6 car driveway (meaning 5/6 cars fit in the driveway.)

    Hope this helps...fire away with more questions.
     
  5. Erik1981

    Erik1981 Member
    from MN
    Messages: 55

    Does that include clearing up to the door?
     
  6. hansenslawncare

    hansenslawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 303

    For my market it does...walks and drive cleared.
     
  7. SnowClear

    SnowClear Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    What size of snowblower will you be using and how will you get the equipment to from each residence?

    I agree that the cost of snowblower service should be more than that of a plow service, unless you are able to clear snow faster and more effectively than a plow truck. See "Switching to blowing service" for more information on other ways to clear snow with a snowblower.

    For accounts with demographics like you mention, I would not hesitate to charge up to 2 times more than that of a plow service. If you are using small equipment like a compact utility tractor or toolcat.